Thursday, May 7, 2015

One Practical, Picture-Filled Lapbooking Resource {A Review}

Heidi St. John,  author of The Busy Mom, mom to seven homeschooled children, and favorite conference and radio speaker, offers a wide array of audios, books, ebooks and accessories at Real Life Press.

I received one of Heidi's helpful how-to ebooks for review and was so impressed by it that I decided to become an affiliate for it: Lapbooking Made Simple is a quality resource that I have been happily putting to use with my children and am delighted to share with you today!

What is Lapbooking Made Simple?

Lapbooking Made Simple is a 54 page lapbook packed with explanations, ideas and examples about how and why to lapbook.  In six short chapters and an "extras" section, it offers both the novice lapbooker and the practiced one practical tips and thoughts that can be put to use right away.
  • Chapter One introduces what lapbooking is and closes with a "golden rule of labooking" that I laughed at when I read since it is one I have to always remind myself about:
Credit: Lapbooking Made Simple, p.4

  • Chapter Two dives into what unit studies are and how lapbooks can be used in conjunction with them.

  • Chapter Three explains how to get started and relates the authors experience and, subsequent tried-and-true tips that I could relate to!  (Yes, it is easy for me to want to dive in and do too much at once. I appreciated the reminder to do a little at a time.)
Credit: Lapbooking Made Simple, p.12

  • Chapter Four explains some of the different mini-books that can used in lapbooks and includes both text and visual examples of how each highlighted mini-book can be used.
Credit: Lapbooking Made Simple, p.13

  • Chapter Five discusses Lapbooking vs. Notebooking, offers links to some wonderful notebooking resources, gives a list of tools families might find helpful for lapbooking and notebooking and describes how to combine the two approaches.
Credit: Lapbooking Made Simple, p. 22

  • Chapter Six details, step-by-step, how to create a lapbook and contains beautiful, full-page photographic examples of beginning, intermediate and advanced lapbooks, as well as a handy list of materials you might have around the house that lend themselves perfectly to lapbooking.

Credit: Page 31, Lapbooking Made Simple
Credit: Lapbooking Made Simple, p. 31

  • Extras include an array of print-cut-and-go mini-book templates in both black and white and color.

Our Experience

When we received
Lapbooking Made Simple, my children and I were already in the midst of beginning a cookie-cutter lapbook on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe that we'd found online.  After reading Lapbooking Made Simple that project paused while my children dove into parallel lapbooking projects on other topics.

Nina chose to combine homemade lapbooking and notebooking elements for her Australian echidna project for our monthly geography club.  She did not want to use ready-made templates nor to be told what or how to proceed.  Instead, she wished to present material she has learned in her own way, and, remembering Heidi's tips, I supported her choice and helped her only when she asked me to do so.
You can just see the hint of the picture that hides under this lift-the-flap feature.

And here it is.  Nina was wowed by how small an echidna is in its mothers pouch and wanted to surprise others with the picture during her presentation.

 Luke, likewise, wanted to begin his own self-directed lapbooking project on something he has yet to have at home, but which he has been reading up on with zest and determination, hoping to save enough money -- and earn enough privileges -- to purchase and use:  Minecraft!
Luke chose to use one of the templates from the book to make a pocket to educate clueless me about some of the creatures in the game he so desires to own.

He also modeled another element after one he noticed in the e-book when I was reading it on my computer.  (And, use, I had to bite my tongue so as not to immediately point out his spelling error in the word "hostile".)

When Nina saw what Luke was doing with his spinner, she wanted to make one, too.  And, there began the fourth in-progress lapbook we have going now.

Nina love, love, loves one of our friend's babies and has decided she wants to make a lapbook all about him.  Too cute!

The way I see it, whether lapbooking through literature, as a part of club and unit study projects, or as a way to highlight interests (while encouraging my reluctant writer Luke to self-direct himself in some writing!), lapbooking and notebooking are a welcome addition to our home education pursuits.  Likewise,
Lapbooking Made Simple is a fantastic little resource that the kids and I have been using and will continue to turn back to for inspiration and practical printables!  I am glad we had the chance not only to review it, but to keep it as a resource for continued learning fun.  Whether you are someone who has never heard of lapbooking or someone who has been making lapbooks with your children for a while, Lapbooking Made Simple
might make a welcome addition to your resource collection, too! 

Learn More

Real Life Press Review 
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